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Ducks Vs. Kings: Who Runs SoCal Hockey?

Hailey Tucker |
January 19, 2015 | 10:57 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

The Los Angeles Kings have been without a doubt the most successful sports team in Southern California over the past few years. Having won two of the past three Stanley Cup championships, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t be the most popular hockey team, but why has everyone forgotten about the Anaheim Ducks? 

The Ducks are sitting comfortably atop the Pacific Division of the Western Conference as the NHL hovers at the mid-point of the season. A record of 30-10-6 is good enough for 66 points, the most in the league. 

To say the Kings have been playing inconsistently is an understatement. Their record of 20-14-11 is not what you’d expect out of a defending champion. If the playoffs were to start today, the Kings would barely slip into the eighth slot, the same spot they won the championship from last season. With that remarkable, fairytale run the Kings brought hockey back to relevance in southern California. 

Last season the Ducks were superior to the Kings in the regular season, as they are this year, but none of that matters to the fans once the playoffs come around. 

The Kings have the magic that Los Angeles loves. Angelenos are used to winning. The Kings have brought the drama that Hollywood requires. The Kings are the team that can bring their fans the satisfaction they require. The Ducks, despite their recent successes, are disappointing in comparison with their neighbors. 

ESPN’s weekly power rankings have the Ducks listed as the top team in the NHL as they continue on a four game win streak; the Kings are slotted at #16. This disparity in performance is not what one would expect given the amount of Kings-skewed media coverage. 

SEE MORE: NFC Championship: A Game Of Inches

The Kings are a blossoming dynasty, and until they can be stopped come May, the Ducks will not be Southern California’s power team. Los Angeles is used to championships, and the Ducks cannot supply those. 

Los Angeles comes up clutch when it counts, and that’s all that counts. Regular season woes are frustrating for fans, but when it all boils down to it, the Kings have proved that as long as they get into the playoffs they are in contention for the Cup. 

The Ducks are 22-0-6 in one-goal games this season, which bodes well for how they will perform in high-pressure post-season matchups. Until they can translate their many close wins into playoff series victories, the Ducks will remain in the shadow of the reigning Kings. 

Anaheim could be on the brink of breaking through the monopoly the Kings have held on SoCal hockey though following a recent 3-2 shootout win over the rivals at Staples Center. With that game, the Kings’ recent seven-game homestand ended with a 1-2-3 record. Though it is anticipated that the white hot Ducks will cool off, and the Kings will wake up, there’s no time like the present for California’s royalty. 

Los Angeles has treated their fans well the past few years. Even though a second straight historic run is not probable, as long as the Kings advance past the first round of the playoffs, their struggles as a team this season will be overlooked. 

The Ducks, however, need to take their game to the next level and make a postseason statement that will outshine the Kings’ glorious crowns. 

Much in the way that the Lakers will always own Los Angeles despite the Clippers’ successes, the Ducks need hardware in order to make the transition from court jester to dominant ruler. 

Reach Staff Reporter Hailey Tucker here.



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